I don’t think that anyone can claim ownership to the English language and tell foreign English speakers what to do.
And that’s exactly the impression I got while reading this article the other day!
I was thinking that I should probably leave it, but I just couldn’t because I’m a foreign English speaker AND a blogger, I represent my fellow foreigners and I think someone should say something about views expressed in this article.
Basically this is how I understand it:
- we all foreigner bloggers are the same – bad English, hard to read articles etc;
- we’re less fortunate than native English speakers having been born in the US;
- we’d better stop struggling with English writing – leave it to native English speakers!
To be honest with you, I didn’t believe I was reading it!
First of all - the English language isn’t owned by a certain group of people, and it’s most definitely not limited to the United States. Anyone on this planet is entitled to start learning English, and if one wants – start a blog in English.
Secondly – what kind of a message is that article sending out there to foreigners who might be having self-confidence issues? Instead of encouraging them to improve their English writing and keep blogging, Kathy seems to be saying – “Common, be realistic about it – you’re not getting anywhere, better start writing stuff in your native language because that’s what you’re good at!”
When I started blogging in English all those years ago, my writing wasn’t as good as now.
Just read this article and you’ll definitely notice differences between the way I was writing then and now. Had I stopped back then, I wouldn’t have achieved the kind of written fluency I have now!
And what would Kathy say to foreigners like Antonio BanderasÂ who didn’t speak English at the start of his careerÂ until his twenties ? “It’s not worth trying – better look for diamonds in your own field (read the end of her blog post to see what I’m talking about here)”
Basically I got an impression that Kathy and a few commentators hold to a view that Americans, Brits and Australians represent the English speaking world, and the rest of the world looks up on them. They’d probably be surprised to find out that there’s millions upon millions of people out there using the English language to communicate with each other, and they’re not native English speakers!
Any comments welcome,